A couple of months ago I read How to Ignore Your Best Customers, the TiVo Way (Part 1)  which begins

We’re big TiVo fans, and have been for three years.

There’s tens of thousands of us who evangelize the company’s precedent-setting digital video recorder and how it has changed our lives. Online, 40,000 of TiVo’s customers have self-organized the TiVo Community forum, which we joined a year ago. The group is Beyond Thunderdome-loyal.

Browse the forums and you will find spirited discussions on topics as varied as these:

  • Why TiVo customers often take over for a hapless retail store salesperson

  • How-to guides on the best ways to convince a loved one to buy and keep a TiVo

  • The May 2004 conference in Las Vegas for TiVo enthusiasts that forum members are organizing

For most companies, a self-organized community of 40,000 passionate fans is unfathomable—a Holy Grail and marketing nirvana that many wish for but few attain.

The interesting thing is that I find myself to be one of these people. Whenever I start talking to someone who doesn't have a TiVo about owning one the conversation eventually a sales pitch. I've found that talking to people about the iPod to be the same way. Halfway through the conversation there's the frustration that washes over me because I can't seem to find the words to truly express to the person I'm talking to about how much the iPod or TiVo would change that aspect of their lives.

Watching TV hasn't been the same since I bought the TiVo and I can't imagine ever going back to not having one. Now I have my iPod I can't imagine what would possess me to buy a CD ever again yet I can listen the almost any song I've ever liked from James Brown to Metallica to 50 Cent anywhere I want, whenever I want.

I can't remember any technology ever affecting me this significantly. I believe when I first got a broadband connection it was the same thing and before that probably the first time I got on the World Wide Web. Before that nothing...


Tuesday, January 13, 2004 7:08:57 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Yup, same here. Thought I havent had any desire to get an iPod (or an mp3 player in general), I have to concur that TiVo has had the most immediate overwhelming positive impact of any consumer electronic device I have ever purchased.
Michael Teper
Tuesday, January 13, 2004 11:18:18 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The sad thing is that in Germany, where I live, there is no TiVo, and simply nothing comparable. The same is true for other cool stuff, like the iTunes music store.
There's a market of about 85 million people (OK, let's say 25 million households) that is being ignored by US companies. I can't see any sane reason why this is the case. "Let me throw some money at you!" - "Thanks, but no thanks - we don't want your stinking money!"
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